The DSM-5's Proposed New Categories of Sexual Disorder: The Problem of False Positives in Sexual Diagnosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The proposals that have emerged from the DSM-5 revision process have triggered considerable controversy, especially regarding potential invalid inflation of diagnostic categories. To illustrate the kinds of issues that have emerged, I closely examine the proposed new categories of sexual disorder. The DSM-5 Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group is proposing the addition of three categories of disorder to the DSM-5-hypersexuality, hebephilia (as part of a revised pedophilia category that would become pedohebephilia), and coercive paraphilic disorder (basically a "nonconsent" or rape paraphilia). These proposals are driven by perceived clinical or forensic needs. I argue, however, that their conceptual soundness remains problematic; each could lead to large numbers of false positive diagnoses (i. e., diagnoses that mistakenly label a normal variant of behavior as a mental disorder), with potential for serious forensic abuse in "sexually violent predator" civil commitment proceedings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • DSM-5
  • Diagnosis
  • False positive
  • Harmful dysfunction
  • Hebephilia
  • Hypersexual disorder
  • Paraphilic coercive disorder
  • Sexual disorder
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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